International Volunteer Day (IVD) is a global celebration of volunteers. It takes place every year on December 5 to shine a light on the impact of volunteer efforts everywhere. Volunteers are leading social change around the world. This special day promotes the work of volunteers at all levels, including local, national and international. This year, the UN marks IVD by recognizing the power of collective action: if everyone did.
If everyone volunteered, the world would be a better place. Imagine more than eight billion of us volunteering. Limitless possibilities for sustainable development – food and education for everyone, a clean environment and good health, inclusive and peaceful societies, and more.
In honour of National Volunteer Day, we recently interviewed Grandview Kids’ most famous volunteers: Robyn and her mini horse, Tulip!
Tell us about Tulip!
Tulip was born in Columbus, Ohio, seven years ago. I travelled to the farm where she was born to meet her … and I fell in love the moment I saw her. But, before I committed to bringing her to our farm, I contacted Grandview Kids to find out if this little therapy horse could visit the children, and she has been welcomed for the past five years, bringing happiness and love to Grandview Kids, their caregivers and the Grandview staff, who can be heard to say, ‘Oh I did not want to miss Tulip today!
How long have you and Tulip been volunteering at Grandview Kids?
I love volunteering at Grandview Kids, seeing the joy on the kids’ faces as they pet and love Tulip – often giving her a big kiss or making pictures or Remembrance Day Poppies for her, observing the anxiety of children about receiving their Botox injections vanish as they stroke Tulip; feeling their pride when they lead Tulip unassisted around the waiting area; and marvelling at the accomplishments … like the child whose mother told me her child was non-verbal outside the home, but he whispered “Hello Tulip” in her ear.
How has this inspired you to join our Board of Trustees?
My husband, Bradley, and I were first introduced to Grandview Kids over 10 years ago when we decided that the proceeds from the McHappy Day fundraising from our McDonald’s in Ajax would go to Grandview Kids. We love Grandview Kids and are in awe of the amazing work done for so many children in the Durham Region.
My work with Tulip has made me even more aware of the dreams being fulfilled at Grandview Kids, and I wanted to do more. I have a Doctorate in Law (as well as B.Comm, LLB, and LLM) with a background in Law, university teaching and management. I have served on several not-for-profit boards, the most recent being Trent University where I was honoured for my service by being named Governor Emeritus, so when an opportunity arose to serve on the Board of Trustees at Grandview Kids, I knew where I wanted to serve.
I am so proud to be a Trustee at Grandview Kids, and I look forward to many years in two roles Trustee and Tulip’s caregiver and companion during Grandview Kids’ visits.
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